When people find out that I am a library director they often ask me what my library is doing to stay relevant in this digital age. This question is sometimes posed as ‘do people still even use the public library?’ The answer is an emphatic YES. Last year the Henry Public Library had 157,934 visitors and checked out 170,421 items. The library on average served 516 patrons per day. The library is a vibrant part of the Henry County community and we thank all of our wonderful patrons, supporters and community members who make what we do possible every day. But the question about relevancy is a good one. The Henry County Library is changing the way that it serves its patrons as more and more people are looking online for their information and entertainment. Here are a few new services that the Henry County Library has created in the last few years:
Online ebooks and audiobooks from Missouri Libraries 2 Go: For anyone who enjoys reading books online whether it be via computer, tablet or e-reader, the library has a selection of thousands of electronic books and audiobooks available through the Missouri Libraries 2 Go platform. Patrons can set-up an account on Missouri Libraries 2 Go and then checkout and download materials from most internet connected devices to read and listen to where ever they are. To connect to Missouri Libraries 2 Go please see the link on the library web-page www.henrycolib.org or go directly to www.molib2go.org.
Online Digital Magazines from Zinio: Did you know that you can access to over 50 popular magazine titles online through the library’s web-site? Zinio is a service that includes popular titles such as Better Homes and Gardens, ESPN the Magazine, Highlights for Children, Newsweek and National Geographic. Just click on the Zinio link on library’s web-page (under the online resources tab) and create and account. From your account you can instantly download magazines and start reading them on most internet connected devices.
Living Languages: Are you planning on taking a trip abroad soon? Would you like to learn the language of your ancestors? Do you want to add a useful job skill to your resume? Living Languages can help you with all of these tasks. Living Languages has been a proven and effective language learning instruction tool for over 65 years. Using techniques originally developed for the U.S. State Department, the Living Language Method™ follows a four point approach from building a foundation of essential words and phrases, advancing to full sentences and conversations, practicing with recall exercises aimed at both short and long term memory and developing practical language skills to equip the learner in any situation. Just click on the Living Languages link through the online resources section of the Henry County Library’s web-page and create and account and you can start learning a new language instantly.
The Henry County Library does, of course, still carry paper books and CD audiobooks in time honored library tradition but as times change we are looking for ways to modernize the library and appeal to new needs that patrons have. With this in mind the Henry County Library is about to embark on a strategic planning process. This 5 year strategic plan will guide the development of the library over the coming years and lay out a roadmap for the library to improve current services, add new ones, and update our two buildings. In order to best serve the Henry County Community the library is asking for patron feedback during this process. Throughout the months of March and April the library will be distributing surveys to ask the opinions of the community towards the library. This survey is meant for all ages and library patrons and non-patrons alike. Please take the time to make sure your voice is heard by stopping into either library location, 123 E Green St. in Clinton or 105 W Benton Ave in Windsor and completing a survey or by going to our web-site www.henrycolib.org to complete it online. We look forward to the feedback our patrons will give us through our survey so that we can continue to be relevant in the lives of our patrons in this digital age and serve the ever changing needs of the community.